2 teens arrested in Princeton suspicious packages case

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 2, 2009 - 11:47 PM

Two teens were held in connection with devices found this week in Princeton. Charges likely will be filed Monday.

Two teenagers -- one an adult -- were arrested in connection with suspicious packages and devices found this week in Princeton, Minn., police said Friday.

One is a 17-year-old boy from Dalbo, Minn., and the other is an 18-year-old man from Princeton, according to police.

Both suspects were in custody Friday, and charges are likely to be filed against them Monday, according to Princeton police Sgt. Joe Backlund. The investigation is still in progress, and Backlund declined to comment about what led authorities to the suspects.

The older teenager is a part-time student at Princeton High School, Superintendent Rick Lahn said, adding that he did not know the identity of the younger suspect.

On Thursday, police said that three suspicious packages found Wednesday contained only "inert powder."

Authorities were awaiting test results on five plastic bottles resembling homemade bombs that also were scattered in the city Wednesday. The discoveries forced the shutdown of schools and much of town on Wednesday.

Students returned to classes Thursday with a mixture of nervousness and confidence.

The suspicious packages were found outside the U.S. Post Office, high school and Public Utilities Commission building between 6 and 7:40 a.m. Wednesday. Students were sent home, businesses were evacuated and large portions of town were cordoned off as local, county and federal authorities investigated. None of the three packages detonated, but some of the five "chemical reaction devices" (authorities called them "MacGyver bombs," after the TV character who improvised explosives) popped while authorities were at the first three scenes.

According to Police Chief Brian Payne, some witnesses reported hearing a "pop" and then seeing a car drive away from where the devices, made of plastic beverage bottles, were later found. The bottles were left on roads on the north and south ends of town.

Payne would not go so far as to link the bottles with the three original packages.

Star Tribune staff writers Chao Xiong and Sarah Lemagie contributed to this report. Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters